Go-Go’s drummer Gina Schock has just released her first book, “Made in Hollywood: All Access With the Go-Go’s,” and is on a book tour that stops at Bookends in Ridgewood, Nov. 18. She will also be interviewed during Low Cut Connie‘s “Tough Cookies” show/webcast at The Saint in Asbury Park, Nov. 20.
Ever since they formed in California in 1978 as the only all-female band who actually wrote their own material, The Go-Go’s have blazed trails for women in the music industry, and over their 40-plus years they have garnered a legion of faithful fans and memories. Lots of memories. Fortunately for us, Schock has brought those memories together for all to enjoy.
“Here’s the deal with the book: I’ve been threatening to do this book for decades and the thought of trying to get all of this material together was daunting and I thought that there was no way,” she said. “Remember now, I’m a collector. I’m not a hoarder but I am a collector. I have everything in its place but I have drawers and drawers and under the bed and in the closet, full of photographs and memorabilia. I have posters in poster tubes all over the place and in the garage and I thought, ‘How in Christ’s name am I gonna put this all together? This is just too much!’
“Anyway, I did find someone who said they would help me. So I flew him up to San Francisco, where I live, and he said, ‘Christ, Gina. This is a treasure trove. Let’s go at it.’ And we did. A year and a half later, we finished our book.
“I mean, I just save things for ever and ever. Let’s put it this way: I have a Daily Planner since 1978, every single day, every year. It’s nuts, but I do. It helped because I could refer back to those at any time and that was pretty cool. But I’ve got to say that all of these great things are happening at once, and I’m just in a super-grateful mood, and it’s all really good.”
Becoming an author was never high on Schock’s priority list. But little did she realize, simple things such as sharing snapshots to pass the time on the band’s bus were actually laying the groundwork for this undertaking.
“The girls in the band have been pushing me to do this book for decades, and I’m not exaggerating,” she said. “We’d go out on tour and I would bring stacks of photos on the tour bus and we would get hysterical looking at all of this stuff and they’d say, ‘Gina, you’ve got to do a book! You’ve got to put this all in one place because it’s fucking insane. Nobody is seeing this except us. Let’s get it out there.’
“Initially it started out as just a photo book, and then my book publisher came to me and asked, ‘What about writing some words?’ I was like, ‘Oh jeez, I don’t know. I’m not a writer. So I don’t know what to tell you about that right now. Let me give it some thought.’
“When I started looking at these photographs, the words just came pouring out and I realized this was way easier than I thought, so don’t be so fearful. Fear is the biggest … the biggest fuck-thing in the world is fear! Fear, fear, fear. Be unafraid and just do it because, do you know what? Fear is a load of crap! It is so ridiculous. So I go for it and I do it, (and) the book turns out fantastic. I’m so proud of it.”
Schock also is thrilled that the other members of the group are just as happy with the finished product, including Go-Go’s bassist Kathy Valentine, who wrote the Foreword. Gina does bristle a bit, though, when asked if the band was on or is planning on a farewell tour.
“This band will never end, my friend. Read the book! This band will go on and on.”
At Bookends, she said, “I’ll be taking photos with fans and signing the book and I’ll be there to meet people and say thank you for putting me where I am today, because if it wasn’t for the fans, The Go-Go’s would mean nothing. I’m here in thankful gratitude mode.”
For more on Schock, visit ginaschock.com.
We need your help!
CONTRIBUTE TO NJARTS.NET
Since launching in September 2014, NJArts.net, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to NJArts.net via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to NJArts.net to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.